‘Children learn most from what they see going on around them’

You’ve got to read the entire, excellent post about John Abbott, the director of the 21st Learning Initiative. Abbot basically is saying that we’ve got to turn education on its head. Right now, schools are training kids to be dependent on authority figures.

Research has confirmed what most parents of young children can already see for themselves — that children are born to learn, rather than to be taught, as Abbott puts it. Driven by an inborn desire to make sense of the world and find purpose in life, they naturally observe, deconstruct, piece together and create their own knowledge. They learn best when this intrinsic motivation is harnessed in what he calls “highly challenging but low-threat environments.”…

Children learn most from what they see going on around them,” he explains. “We become who we are based on things around us that we admire or not. Children don’t just turn their brains on when they go to school.”


Ok, now, really, back to writing…

Bay Area’s Camp Reel Stories teaches girls to make movies

Last year, Esther Pearl and Zoe Boxer founded Camp Reel Stories, a media camp in the Bay Area for girls ages 13 – 18. Excited by the concept and curious about how the camp helps girls turn big dreams into practical action, I interviewed Pearl. Her responses are below. I cannot wait until my kids are old enough to experience this magical place.

What inspired you to found Camp Reel Stories?


I have worked in film and media production for 15 years, and though I really loved my work I was often disappointed in the lack of female characters on the projects I worked on and how few female colleagues I had.  When I became a parent to a little girl I dug deeper into this inequity and what I found was astonishing.


From 2006 to 2009, not one female character was depicted in G-rated family films in the field of medical science, law, politics, or as a business leader. In these films, 80.5% of all working characters are male and 19.5% are female, which is a contrast to real world statistics, where women comprise 50% of the workforce[1]. Even more staggering is the fact that this ratio, as seen in family films, is the same as it was in 1946. These statistics are enormously detrimental to young women’s impressions of themselves and their perceived value in the world. While this is disheartening, this also means there is a vast untapped market for both talent and products that represent the diversity of our society.


I look at this as a great opportunity to create change in not only the lack of equity in the industry, but a creative opportunity to create new filmmakers and producers that are excited about creating characters and storylines that interest them.

My partner and I created Camp Reel Stories (CRS) as a fun way to connect young women with professional mentors, give them story telling and production skills to tell stories that reflect their unique point of view, while incorporating media literacy and leadership workshops. CRS believes that when women and girls are better reflected behind the scenes they will be better reflected on the screen. 

What do you teach the girls during the sessions? What do you think they get out of their time at the camp?


Our campers get a lot!  They learn filmmaking and production from leaders in the field, they take media literacy and leadership workshops. The girls work in small teams and have an adult producer that guides them the process and in just one week they write, shoot and edit a short film.  Last year we had six films completed and this year we will have even more! They also have the collaboration and creative skill building process mirrored for them as they see they professional mentors work together to create not only great short films, but a fun camp experience.

How many campers attend?

In 2013 we held our inaugural camp and we had 32 campers.  This year we will have 2 summer camps and can take up to 90 girls, and those spaces are filling fast.  You can apply at http://campreelstories.com/apply

What do the alumni go on to do?

Thus far we have 50% of of campers signed up again this year.  We have elected 2 student board members from our first cohort to the CRS board to help grow our organization.  Two of CRS films were accepted into a local film festival and were screened for a huge audience just this past Friday night and other festivals have asked me to submit their work.  100% of attendees surveyed from the CRS pilot camp said through CRS they learned how gender equity in the media affects the way women are perceived in the media, 85% now view the media more critically and 92% felt more comfortable in their leadership ability, felt their skills as filmmakers improved and plan to continue making films. 20% of our campers have made changes or created an educational plan for a career in the media.


Also many of our campers have used what they learned in camp to speak to their classes and schools about gender inequity in the media, sharing knowledge about the Bechdel test and to organize screenings of films with strong female characters.

What are some examples of media that you think promotes positive images or girls and women?

This is a tough one, because as an adult and a parent of young children I have a different lens than our campers about what a positive image is.  The media has made it harder and harder to decipher between a celebrity and a role model.  This is something I talk about a lot with my own kids and with our campers.  There is a difference between a Kardashian and an actress, it’s important to acknowledge that.

Personally I have seen a lot of films that have really interesting characters and relationships that wouldn’t always be appropriate for a younger audience and I like complicated characters.  Recently I saw and loved, Enough Said, Short Term 12, The Bling Ring, Philomena and Frances Ha.

With my daughter and son I find it so hard to find interesting characters in films that we all can enjoy.  We all really like the Miyazaki films and we are introducing films from awhile ago since the pickings are slim currently.  Some of those are Bend it like Beckham, Black Stallion, Mary Poppins. And everyone loved Brave and Despicable Me.

The campers also seem to be able to access to Netflix, Hulu and other online resources to search out media that they can relate to.  I was surprised that so many teenagers were familiar with some 80 and 90s classics, such as Breakfast Club, Harold and Maude, Amelie since they can’t find a lot of current media they can relate to.

What do you do during the rest of the year? Do you plan to expand? What are your goals for the camp?

The rest of the year is spent planning the future of Camp Reel Stories.  This year we will triple in size, we will offer 2 summer camps and an afterschool program in the fall. 40% of our campers are on financial aid so I am always fundraising to make sure that anyone that wants to attend can. The films from last year have been entered in several film festivals and now are being selected and screened.  I also try to collaborate with as many like minded organizations as possible.

We hope to offer camps in other locations the just the Bay Area in 2015 and we are researching those opportunities now.

What is a typical day at camp like?

Each day is a little different, but we incorporate icebreaking and leadership activities into every morning.  The girls are on an accelerated schedule, so they have to get to know one another AND learn filmmaking quickly so that they can get to creating their films.  Everyday they learn about some part of the creative process and immediately get hands on experience in that area.  On Monday morning 30-40 girls who don’t know one another walk into a room, but the end of the day the have formed a small team and have an idea of what they want to make. That process is impressive and we are amazed at how quickly the girls can set aside their differences to get on to the creative process.

Tuesday they learn storyboarding, audio and video and work with their team to finalize their story.  They also take a media literacy workshop so that they can see the direct correlation to the lack of representation both behind and in front of the camera. Wednesday they shoot, Thursday they learn to edit, and they edit a rough cut of their project and then at the end of the day show it to their fellow campers and get creative feedback.  Friday they fix, by either reshooting or reediting, anything that they want and on Saturday they screen it at a Camp Reel Stories film festival which 250 people attend.

It is amazing to see these young women come out of their shell in the course of the week and I can’t wait to see what this year brings.  We are restructuring a bit since we got requests for both more time to shoot and more media literacy.

It sounds like a lot of work, but we also have a lot of fun. In the end we are so proud of the work that the campers have done and the community created, not only with the campers, but with our volunteers, professional mentors and families.  It’s quite exciting to see everyone fired up to create media that is more interesting and reflects the diverse fabric of our lives.


Visit Camp Reel Stories here.


[1] http://www.seejane.org/research

All facts are supported by research conducted by Dr. Stacy Smith, Ph.D. at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

WWII’s ‘nasty and aggressive campaign by male pilots’ carried on by Disney’s ‘Planes’ in 2013

Yesterday, I posted about the upcoming documentary on the forgotten female pilots from WW2: “We Served Too: The Story of Women Air Force Pilots of World War II.” From the film:

These women flew over 60 million miles within a 2 year period…However, after a nasty and aggressive campaign by male pilots who wanted the WASPs’ jobs, they were the only wartime unit that was denied military status by congress…For many years the WASPs kept their achievements quiet. Their service in World War II would only be known by a few. They are not mentioned in our history books, nor is their story taught in schools.Their accomplishments of being the first women to fly in the military would even be forgotten.


I haven’t seen the documentary yet, so I don’t know the details of the “nasty and aggressive campaign by male pilots” which successfully erased the stories of these female heroes from our history books. But I am somewhat of an expert on current kid culture, and I can tell you that stories about female heroes continue to go missing right now.

In a recent post about Disney’s transformation of the story of “The Snow Queen” to “Frozen” I wrote:

Thousands of years ago, conquering armies smashed the idols of their victims and stole their stories, an extremely effective tactic to destroy a community and steal its power. Christians did this to pagans, but of course, this act is all over history. Just like the goddess morphed into the Virgin, girls are going missing under the guise of celebration. Right now, in 2013, Disney is stealing and sanitizing stories. It’s an annihilation. How long before we all forget the original story? Will our children ever hear it?


I am reeling from this WW2 story, not because of the sexism of the past, but because of the sexism today. Want to see some sexist male pilots? Check out this preview from Disney’s recent hit, “Planes.”

Plane One: What’s taking this guy so long? Is he really as good as he says he is?

Plane Two: No, better.

Plane One: Whoa! Who was that?

Plane Three: (Descending fast on top of the other two) Well, hello ladies! Ready to lose?


Plane Three goes on to leave the “ladies” in the dust.



When I saw that preview with my three young daughters, I thought the plane who mocks the slow flyers by calling them “ladies,” was having a moment of arrogance. The movie would redeem him when he went through his transition. But when I actually saw the movie, I learned that I couldn’t have been more wrong. The sexist joke is his fantasy, the fantasy of a humble crop duster with a fear of heights who wishes he were a racer. It’s the dream sequence of a “likeable” character. Can you imagine a hero making a racist joke and being likeable? In a movie for little kids? Yet, that’s how much sexism we have to wade through before a female flyer is allowed to win a race in animation.

Yesterday, I posted about a three year old girl in my daughter’s preschool who told a teacher she can’t be a pilot, but she can be a pilot’s wife. You can tell your kids, until you’re blue in the face, that they can be anything they want to be, but if you don’t show them, through images and stories, they won’t believe you. They won’t believe in themselves. Little girls are obsessed with princesses and ballerinas, and later, supermodels, because those are the few times females are allowed to be the star in the show. Everyone wants to be the star in their own movie, their own life, but girls, again and again, are literally, pushed to the sidelines.

If you look at the erasure of these female pilots from World War II, the government obviously participated in the sexism. Allowed it to happen and sanctioned it. This is not an isolated event of the past. How can we, literally, sit back and watch it happen again and again?

On my recent post about WW2 pilots, I got this comment from Abnoba

Lots of women in war have been missing and rarely mentioned in history books, and especially in movies.
There were women fighting in the USA Civil War
There were samurai women
The most powerful pirate of all the times was a woman
and there were female pirates
Even if they have to dress as a man, take the arms of a fallen soldier in a battle or work as a spy, there were women fighting in every war, because they have to defend themselves, their families and their homes, of course that they are not going to stay at home, just waiting and being killed, but you rarely see that in historical movies.


This from Mecano:

WASPs were great but the women pilots of WWII who were truly baptised in battle were those of the Soviet Air Forces.True warriors .I have many books about them.



British women also flew.Check for “Spitfire women”


And here’s a comment from my post on “Planes.”

“The actual race in Planes is totally dominated by male competitors.” How shocking! You mean in real life the actual race is not dominated by male competitors?… This stuff is silly nonsense.
This feminist whine that animated movies for kids should reflect “progressive feminist” values is the kind of thing that gives feminism a bad name. Why? Because it’s silly overreach as usual.
The idea that animators see machines that race (airplanes, cars, dunebuggies, drag racers, etc.) as a male world isn’t an irrational sexist bias – it’s simply reality. Males – and especially boys – are by nature gung ho about machines to a degree that girls are not is obvious to anyone not wearing feminist blinders. That it’s necessary to point this out these days is a comment on the nuttiness of the feminist whiners who are constantly arguing that these natural differences are not natural but socially imposed. It’s B.S. Boys and girls are different from head to toe and always have been and always will be.

Please show this picture to your kids. It’s likely they won’t see it anywhere else.


Art creates reality: Imagining gender equality in the fantasy world

Some good quotes here. Let me know what you think

Bono on Jay-Z in November’s Vanity Fair:

In music, we love the idea of the screwed-up, shooting-up. fucked-up artist. The one bleeding in the garret having cut his own ear off. Jay-Z is a new kind of 21st-century artist where the canvas is not just the 12 notes, the wicked beats, and a rhyming dictionary in his head. It’s commerce, it’s politics, the fabric of the real as well as the imagined life.


Stephen Mitchell in Can Love Last, the Fate of Romance Over Time

It is the hallmark of the shift in basic psychoanalytic sensibility that the prototype of mental health for many contemporary psychoanalyitc authors is not the scientist but the artist. A continual objective take on reality is regarded as neither possible nor valuable in contrast to the ability to develop and move in and out of different perspectives of reality.


New York Times, October:

Public narratives about a career make a difference. The most common career aspiration named on Girls Who Code applications is forensic science. Like Allen, few if any of the girls have ever met anyone in that field, but they’ve all watched “CSI,” “Bones” or some other show in which a cool chick with great hair in a lab coat gets to use her scientific know-how to solve a crime. This so-called “CSI” effect has been credited for helping turn forensic science from a primarily male occupation into a primarily female one.

Jezebel reacting to New York Times piece:

The New York Times today would like to suggest that storytelling is powerful, that, in the whole art/life dynamic, it’s life that imitates art, not the other way around, at least not when it comes to kids imagining viable career paths for themselves.


Whoopi Goldberg:

Well, when I was nine years old Star Trek came on. I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.


In the fantasy world, anything is possible, so why do little kids see so few female heroes and female protagonists on TV and in the movies? While boy “buddy stories” are everywhere you look, why is it so hard to see two females working together to save the world? Why are females, half of the kid population, presented as a minority in fantasy world? Why are TV shows, movies, and books about boys “for everyone” while shows and movies about girls “just for girls?” When we pass on stories to our kids, what are we teaching them about gender, about who they are right now and who they will become?

One more quote for you from neuroscientist, Lise Eliot:

“Babies are born ready to absorb the sounds, grammar, and intonation of any language, but then the brain wires it up only to perceive and produce a specific language. After puberty, its possible to learn another language but far more difficult. I think of gender differences similarly. The ones that exist become amplified by the two different cultures that boys and girls are immersed in from birth. This contributes to the way their emotional and cognitive circuits get wired.”

Eliot believes: “Simply put, your brain is what you do with it.”So let’s all use our brains to imagine gender equality in the fantasy world, take actions to manifest that vision, and see what happens next. I bet it’ll be amazing.

Mom writes teacher about gender bias in homework

Ever noticed your children’s homework shows boys playing sports while girls bake cookies? It drives me bats. I’m so happy that mom, Elizabeth Mandel, wrote a letter to her child’s teacher about gender bias in homework. All of us should do this. Here’s part of her letter:

My daughter is absolutely thriving in your classroom. As you know, she has a particular affinity for math, and she adores doing math homework (I hope she feels like this about homework forever).

While sitting with her while she was doing her math homework tonight, I noticed that in the examples, Shawn and Mike have robots and baseballs, while Lucy makes sandwiches for her friends. As I mentioned when we met last month, I am very invested in keeping my daughters, and all girls, interested in STEM subjects, and in diminishing the subtle cues that contribute to the gender gap in all areas. I strongly feel, and I am supported by research that shows, that subtle cues that assign boys certain interests and girls certain interests are absorbed by young children and impact how they see their roles in the classroom and in society at large.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for this letter. Thank you to Pigtail Pals for posting it. You can read the rest of the letter and information about the teacher’s reply on Pigtail Pals Facebook page.

Art teacher for kids says ‘almost without fail, girls create male characters’

Lori comments on Reel Gir’s post Speaking of art as derivative:

I teach clay classes for kids, and we often do character sculptures. I encourage the kids to create characters and make up stories about them, and almost without fail, the girls will create male characters. If they do make female characters, they always have long hair, a dress, and big eyelashes, and are defined by how pretty they are, or some romantic plot point. Any monsters or animals were male by default. I actually ended up running a couple of workshops specifically aimed at girls to encourage them to create stories about female protagonists, and to talk about gender stereotypes in storytelling because of this. It’s so pervasive, they don’t even realize they’re doing it, or that they are free to create anything different.


This makes me so sad about the limits gender bias in our culture is putting on children’s imaginations. Lino DiSalvo and co, do you see the problem now? What are you going to do about it?

Malala asks: ‘Why should I wait for someone else? Why don’t I raise my voice?

Jon Stewart asks Malala Yousafzai, the 16 yr old activist for girls education who was shot in the head by the Taliban, how she found the courage to speak out. She replies:

Why should I wait for someone else? Why should I be looking to the government, to the army, that they would help us. Why don’t I raise my voice? Why don’t we speak up for our rights? The girls of Swat, they spoke up for their rights. I started writing daily. I spoke out on every media channel that I could, and I raised my voice on every platform that I could. I said I need to tell the world what is happening in Swat.


Malala didn’t wait around for someone to else to tell her story for her. She rescued herself through the act of writing and speaking. She risked telling the truth about her life and telling it publicly, and in doing so, she is changing the world. Please show this video to your children and teach them to do the same. I can’t wait to get Malala’s book and show it to my daughters as well.


4 yr old girl bullied for wearing ‘boy’ shoes

Here’s my 4 year old daughter talking about how kids at preschool teased her for wearing “boy” shoes. A group of them wouldn’t let her enter the “train hole,” a play structure shaped like a train, because she was wearing her Star Wars shoes.

After my daughter told me about the teasing, which happened more than once, I spoke to her teacher who then talked with the kids about how anyone can wear any kind of shoe they like.

The bullying that happened to my daughter occurs in schools every day, and we all need to be doing more to stop it. Instead, we’re exacerbating it by buying into gender marketing sold to us by multi-national media companies and chain stores.

A couple of years ago, there was a story about a first grader who brought her Star Wars lunch box to school, and she was teased. That story got some media attention, but it seems like too many people think that incident was some kind of anomaly, have forgotten about it, or still haven’t realized how damaging and limiting it is for kids when we gender stereotype them.

Whenever I blog or speak about gender segregating kids, I get the argument that it’s just “natural,” and if your kid happens to be the rare exception, she can “choose” another toy or T shirt if she wants. (Here I am recently responding to those arguments on Fox News but they are all over this blog as well.) How many kids have the courage to be the “exception?” And why has straying from pink or princess become an exception? How long until my daughter starts “choosing” the shoes that she’s supposed to wear and like, shoes that she doesn’t get teased for wearing? I’m stating what should be obvious here: When one type of product is aggressively marketed to boys, and another type to girls kids don’t have a choice.

Due to a campaign in Europe by Let Toys Be Toys For Girls and Boys, stores in Europe including Toys R us, stopped segregating products by gender, and instead, are organizing them by type. Here’s what Toys Will Be Toys reported on Toys R Us.

The retailer today confirmed that they would draw up a set of principles for in-store signage meaning that, in the long-term, explicit references to gender will be removed and images will show boys and girls enjoying the same toys. They promised to start by looking at the way toys are represented in their upcoming Christmas catalogue.

This is great news for Europe, but go to any Target or Stride Rite in America, and you’ll see how far this country lags behind. Pinkwashed sections of stores marked for girls offer Barbies, dolls, and anything pink, princessy, or sparkly while areas marked for boys sell products in primary colors that have something to do with cars or superheroes. A U.S. organization called A Mighty Girl has started a similar petition in the U.S. to the Let Toys Be Toys petition in Europe, hoping to stop stores here from selling kids gender segregation.

Mass marketing by gender is changing how we see each other and the world around us. On the Huffington Post, Lori Day writes:

I was talking to a teacher friend recently who said that 10 or 15 years ago, if she asked her Kindergarten class what their favorite colors were, she heard many different answers. Now, she still hears the boys name many different colors, but the girls almost all say pink…


There are so many colors in the rainbow. Kids should get exposed to all of them. Please sign A Mighty Girl’s petition.

What happens to kids’ brains when they only see pink?

Creativity is not icing on the cake. It is the cake.

Artists have a false reputation of being neurotic, pessimistic, and depressed. But artists, if they are depressed, create in spite, not because of depression. I wrote a blog about this controversial view presented in the book Against Depression by Peter Kramer. His whole theory is basically this: Creating consistently requires a sense of optimism. You’ve got to believe there is a way to tell your story or paint your picture. It makes sense. You’ve got to be resilient. Your plot is going to fall apart hundreds of times, and you’ve got to figure out a way to put it all together and make it work.

Besides Kramer’s book, I’ve learned elsewhere that creativity is essential for mental health. I’ve taken classes on forgiveness and anger management and both teach the same skill: story-telling. According to Fred Luskin of Stanford University, there are 3 steps to creating and holding a grudge:

(1) You take something too personally

(2) You blame someone else for how bad you feel

(3) You create a grievance story.

The grievance story is something that you, the “victim,” repeat over and over in your head. The way to forgive, to move on, is to tell a new story where you are the hero.

In anger management, you learn the same thing. The feeling of anger lasts 90 seconds. 90 seconds. Please check out this amazing video about the teen brain where Neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor says the same thing. So what keeps the anger going for hours, days, years, a lifetime? The story you tell yourself about the event. That is where you can intercede and step in. Change the story. Become the hero, not the victim.

To do all this, you need to be creative.

What made me think about this today (not that I don’t every day) is a New York Times post headlined Marketing to Children Drowns Out Innovation.

Creativity — our ability to invent, conjure, envision, think divergently, and change the status quo — is essential to a thriving democracy and is rooted in children’s creative play.

On the Huffington Post, Lori Day writes:

I was talking to a teacher friend recently who said that 10 or 15 years ago, if she asked her Kindergarten class what their favorite colors were, she heard many different answers. Now, she still hears the boys name many different colors, but the girls almost all say pink…

Doesn’t that suck? A classroom of girls and all the colors in the world, and this is what they say? What are the longterm affects of groupthink in little kids?

I keep asking on Reel Girl: Why do parents put up with the gender stereotypes marketed to little kids? At least with “progressive,” urban parents, those in my world, I think a major reason is that they believe it’s just a phase, so harmless. Kids will grow out of loving pink or loving princesses. But kids who learn groupthink instead of creativity will have a harder time thinking independently. And I mean really independently, not reactively, which is just another form of groupthink. Again, you’ve got to watch Taylor’s teen brain video.

On developing brains, psychologist/ author Stephen Mitchell writes in one of my favorite books ever, Can Love Last?:


However, the traditional dichotomy of nature versus nurture that has dominated Western philosophy and psychology has been profoundly challenged  by recent advances in neurophysiology. The stratification model of human experience, nature versus nurture– was predicated on the assumption that human biology was  a complete package at birth…

The brain of the newborn, we now know, is only partially developed. Nerve cells and neural pathways are incomplete at birth; they are shaped to a considerable extent by the baby’s experience with others.


Mitchell is echoed by neuroscientist Lise Eliot, author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain. She writes:


“Babies are born ready to absorb the sounds, grammar, and intonation of any language, but then the brain wires it up only to perceive and produce a specific language. After puberty, its possible to learn another language but far more difficult. I think of gender differences similarly. The ones that exist become amplified by the two different cultures that boys and girls are immersed in from birth. This contributes to the way their emotional and cognitive circuits get wired.”


Both Mitchell and Eliot support the idea that humans are born into the world with “potentials.” Qualities humans are designed for can “turn on” or “emerge.”


These ideas on brain development take on the basic assumptions of Enlightenment, the driving theory behind the last century, which Mitchell summarizes as “a correct, rational, scientific, fantasy-free way to understand the world.” Mitchell summarizes the Enlightenment world view into three basic assumptions:


(1) All genuine questions have answers


(2) All true answers are discoverable and teachable to others


(3) All answers are in principle compatible


Mitchell describes reality, or realities, instead where fantasy and reality continually create each other. He writes:


It is the hallmark of the shift in basic psychoanalytic sensibility that the prototype of mental health for many contemporary psychoanalyitc authors is not the scientist but the artist. A continual objective take on reality is regarded as neither possible nor valuable in contrast to the ability to develop and move in and out of different perspectives of reality.

I’m not a scientist. I’m a writer and a mom, and I’m appalled by what people are calling “natural.” In the future, people are going to look back on this time and be mystified by what we did to little kids.






Inoculate your daughter, teach her these basic mirror skills

Here’s a great tip to inoculate your daughter against internalizing the barrage of criticism about her appearance. If that critical voice gets trapped and trained in your kid’s head and wiring, it becomes a bad habit that, like any addiction, is difficult to break. I got this tip from Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals, and so far, it works really well. I can see my kids using it.


Tell your daughter that you use a mirror to see if you have food on your face or something like that. You don’t look in the mirror to see if you are beautiful. Beauty is a feeling that comes from within you, and a mirror can’t give you that. Let your daughter see you use a mirror this way as well.

Repeat this lesson as often as necessary. It’s basic but effective.

Extra tip: If your daughter protests or seems confused, which she may not, explain that the correct way to use a mirror is the exact opposite of how the wicked queen relied on it in “Snow White,” asking “Who is the fairest of all?” Explain how the Queen’s misuse of the mirror, her dependence on its voice instead of her own, sapped her power and helped to cause her downfall.